Punch And Counterpunch!
Right after the launch of ATI's latest Radeon graphics cards at the ATI Tech Day, NVIDIA called for a teleconference. But instead of announcing a new monster card to counter ATI's claims of superiority with their new Radeon X1950 XTX, they actually shifted focus away from the X1950 XTX.
They chose instead to challenge ATI using two new "value" cards - the GeForce 7900 GS and the GeForce 7950 GT!
Now, don't mistaken the word "value" for low-end. These are most certainly NOT low-end cards.
In fact, the GeForce 7900 GS is merely a slightly slower version of the GeForce 7900 GT while the GeForce 7950 GT is designed to bridge the gap between the GeForce 7900 GT and the GeForce 7900 GTX.
We only consider them "value" cards because they are designed to offer great value for money. Indeed, when you see the new price points that NVIDIA set them at, you will see just how attractive they are.
NVIDIA GeForce 7900 GS
The new GeForce 7900 GS is almost like a twin to the GeForce 7900 GT. It looks like the GeForce 7900 GT, runs at the same clock speeds, comes with the same GPU and memory. It even uses the same cooler!
Only two things differentiate the GeForce 7900 GS from the GeForce 7900 GT. Instead of having 24 pixel shaders and 8 vertex shaders, the GeForce 7900 GS comes with only 20 pixel shaders and 7 vertex shaders.
Evidently, the GeForce 7900 GS uses G71 GPUs that were slightly damaged during the fabrication process. By disabling 4 pixel shaders and 1 vertex shaders, NVIDIA converts what are essentially worthless silicon into valuable, functioning chips.
The GeForce 7900 GS runs at the same clock speeds as the GeForce 7900 GT - 450MHz core and 660MHz memory. But because it has fewer pixel and vertex shaders, the GeForce 7900 GS has a slightly lower fillrate (9000 Megatexels/s) and a slightly lower vertex output (822.5 million vertices per sec.).
The GeForce 7900 GT, by comparison, has a fillrate of 10800 Megatexels/s and does up to 940 million vertices per sec. That places the GeForce 7900 GS just below the GeForce 7900 GT in our comparison chart.
As such, there's nothing really special about the GeForce 7900 GS... except for the price! NVIDIA's giving it an official price range of only $199-$249! If it hits the street at around $199, then this card would be a real bargain, wouldn't it?